200 Years of Pride and Prejudice

The famous opening sentence, from the first edition Today we installed the new display in our Visitor Centre, celebrating 200 years since the publication of Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. The full title of the display is 200 Years of Pride and Prejudice: From Austen to Zombies, and it contains only a small sample […]

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An Early Book for Bird Breeders

 Despite its title, The bird-fancier’s companion (RB.s.2851) isn’t a guide for bird watchers, but a manual on how to breed canaries. Published in Edinburgh in 1763, the book introduces different breeds of canary and offers some advice about how to choose from the birds imported by German traders. The book goes on to cover breeding of canaries, health […]

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More Gaelic Books Digitised

We have reached the first milestone in digitising all our out-of-copyright books in Gaelic: the first 50 are now freely accessible and can be read in full on our website about Early Gaelic Book Collections! The digitised books were published between 1631 and 1900 and cover mostly literary and religious subjects from poetry and songs to translations […]

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Thomas Ruddiman

Although NLS does not collect paintings, there are six hanging in our George IV Bridge building (though not in public spaces) and now you can see them all through the BBC — Your Paintings website.  They all relate in some way to the history of the Library. My favourite painting is this portrait of Thomas Ruddiman.  He joined […]

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Female Bookbinders

We recently acquired a copy of Thomas a Kempis’s famous devotional work De imitatione Christi (Bdg.s.950), which was printed in Mechelen, Germany, in 1885. The book is of particular interest because of its modelled goatskin binding: The binding is in the style of the Scottish bookbinder Annie MacDonald (d. 1924), who invented the very technique for modelling leather for bookbindings. The design […]

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A Seriously Old Book

We have recently bought an incunable. Incunabulum is Latin for “things in the cradle”, and the term means an item that was printed before 1501, i.e. during the infancy of printing with movable type. A book’s title page as we know it, with title, subtitle, author’s name, publisher’s name, and date and place of publication, was […]

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